Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chemistry Chapter Earns National Recognition

"We are not just about blowing stuff up and making it look cool. We are about making a solar cell out of blackberry juice and glass slides." -Owen Williams '14

This month, Gordon College student chemists received a prestigious honor: two awards at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), of which Gordon College has a very active student chapter. At the group's national meeting in New Orleans this month, nine Gordon students were recognized with the Outstanding Student Chapter Award as well as a Green Chemistry Award. Receiving both awards together is the most elite recognition any chapter can receive, and only 25 other schools (from a pool of over a thousand) have received this honor.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Restore Creation: Earth Week at Gordon

Happy Earth Day! This week the Gordon student club Advocates for a Sustainable Future hosts a week-long tribute to environmental care with programs and events to educate, celebrate and restore Creation.

The week includes film screenings, garden clean-ups and plantings, a Boston service project partnering with the Charles River Watershed Association and urban nonprofits for a Charles River Cleanup, tours of small farms in the area, and educational discussions. 

"Earth Week is a favorite of mine," said Cyndi McMahon in the Communications Office, who often takes photos of the events during the week. "I love hearing the sounds of the Recycled Rhythm pop-up performances similar to the bucket drumming near North Station in the city."

Though environmental stewardship is a year-round commitment at Gordon, it's important to set aside time for discussion, and also to celebrate the Gordon community's leadership role in this important field. Recently Gordon College was again named to the Princeton Review's Green Colleges Guide, a highly selective listing of universities and colleges across the U.S. that go beyond traditional expectations for environmental care. Gordon staff members Paul Helgeson and Mark Stowell have been invited to speak at a forum on Faith and  Sustainability at the third Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and second Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses Conference this week at the Worcester DCU Center, a clear testament to why the Princeton Review would set its sights on Gordon for this distinction.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Miroslav Volf at Gordon: Understanding Religious Violence

Religious violence has been a major source of conflict for thousands of years. Is there a way to prevent it, or is it inherent in a pluralistic world? Acclaimed theologian Miroslav Volf visited Gordon recently as the keynote speaker for a Faith Seeking Understanding Lecture Series event hosted by the Center for Faith and Inquiry where he applied his personal experience and scholarly research to wrestle with this topic.

The German-educated Volf is the founding director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and a Henry B. Wright professor of theology at Yale Divinity School. Born in war-ravaged Croatia and a witness to the violence there, at a young age Volf had to reconcile his Christian faith with this devastation.

Volf kicked off the lecture with a philosophical explanation of the three motivations for conflict as put forth by Hobbes: that people invade for gain, safety or reputation. Religion, according to Volf, follows right after because of its nature as a system of truth. Anything that stifles a group's practice of its religion will spark dissent, and perhaps violence. This extends even to traditionally peaceful religions and cultures; in Sri Lanka, Buddhist monks whose protests have been long been non-violent now are sometimes raising guns. And today we see Muslims in France facing threats to their religion over a potential ban of the hijab, the traditioanal veil worn by Muslim women.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Multigenerational Leadership: One Size Does Not Fit All

Four insightful panelists gathered around the table at the front of the room, sharing their views on a relevant issue: How can a business operate effectively when its workforce has employees from different generations?  Since Gordon is fortunate to be one of the only Christian colleges outside of Boston our thrust to feature more Boston-based events paved the way for the recent “Organizational Success Through Multigenerational Teams” event in the heart of Boston's business and e-commerce neighborhood. The event, sponsored by Gordon's Career Services and Advisory Board, brought professionals and students to the Boston Private Bank & Trust Company’s conference rooms to hear how organizations thrive despite different generational perspectives. The four panelists,—Dave Caruso, founding chairman and managing director of Coastal Capital Group; Pilar Pueyo, senior vice president and director of human resources at Boston Private Bank & Trust; Mary Mariano, vice president of the finance division, employee development and inclusion for State Street Corporation; and Jessie Saintcyr, deputy treasurer and human resources director and employment counsel, at the Office of the Treasury for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts—offered unique views on the subject from their vantage points in institutions of quite different sizes.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Play With A Purpose: Triple Honors for Gordon

“We are in the business of making people smile. We are not selling to people. We are trying to show them the importance of a healthy, joyful life.”- Marcos Castellano, senior in the Recreation and Leisure Studies program.

When people think of academics, recreation and leisure are two of the last words that usually come to mind. But the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department at Gordon strives to show the importance of leisure in our collective and individual lives. Through holistic study of the quality of life, the department seeks to enrich student lives and their communities. The department's excellence was recognized at this year’s Massachusetts Recreation and Park Associate (MRPA) Conference in which three Gordon representatives were honored for excellence in the field.

Student Marcos Castellano ’13 was named Student of the Year, alumnus Peter Coleman ’03 won Professional of the Year and Professor Peggy Hothem received a special citation for 40 years of service in the field. Professor Hothem—who won the Peter O’Brien Humanitarian award in 2003, the highest honor bestowed by the MRPA—was recognized this year as a long-time member of the organization and for initiating the recreation and leisure studies major at Gordon in 1990.